OCD official pushes massive flood control projects on Panay Island

AERIAL photograph shows the flood that hit Capiz due to rains from tropical depression ‘Agaton’ last April. (Capiz Kabalaka Information Center)
ILOILO CITY – An official of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) has said that massive flood control projects are needed in three major river systems on Panay Island to curb perennial flooding.

“The river systems in the provinces of Capiz, Aklan, and Antique must be addressed,” said Jose Roberto Nuñez, OCD-Western Visayas (Region 6) director.

“Since I was assigned here (Western Visayas), the damage from flooding is very big,” said Nuñez, chairman of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC)-Region 6.

“Sometimes, it even floods when there is no typhoon in the area,” added Nuñez as the National Disaster Resilience Month comes to a close.

Much of Capiz was engulfed by floodwaters last April from the intermittent rains spawned by tropical depression “Agaton.” The flooding killed 21 persons and displaced more than 480,000 people.

Nuñez said that RDRRMC-6 had earlier urged to expedite the implementation of the proposed Panay River Basin Development Project in Capiz.

The P19.7-billion project proposed by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has yet to start. While the project is mainly for the agriculture sector, it also has a flood control component.

Nuñez also called for a convergence approach by national government agencies such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Agriculture (DA), as well local government units.

“We also need to work with our representatives in Congress,” added Nuñez.